Diabolical Pitch Review (XBLA, Kinect)

Posted by Jim Cook, Apr 04, 2012 15:57

Kinect Required, Physical Space Requirements: diabolical pitch boxDiabolical Pitch is a somewhat physically demanding game that needs a Kinect. Potential players are advised that you will need clear space in the room to move your arms out to your extreme sides (as if holding your arms out like ’airplane wings’), above your head (as if pitching a baseball from overhead to forward), in front of you (you will also need open room low to the ground for kicking motions), and possibly a bit behind you depending on how you crouch. You will need this much space free in order to safely do various baseball-themed motions, including pitching a ball and swinging a bat.

When the Kinect was released, one of the obvious ideas people discussed was the possibility of arcade-style lightgun (think Virtua Cop, Time Crisis, and so on) games. Playing such a game without an ’actual’ gun to hold could be a problem, but Diabolical Pitch has a clever solution in replacing firearms with another weapon. Players take on the role of a formerly top-notch (now crippled) baseball pitcher, lured into a haunted carnival where his disability is overcome through acquiring a bionic arm... and now he has to fight off monsters by flinging fastballs at them. It’s a silly idea, but one that works.

The basic controls are simple, as you mostly stand in place while your off-hand aims where the ball should go. Your dominant hand then pitches a baseball at the target, which is usually an oncoming enemy, power-up, or score-boosting item. While some degree of auto-aim exists and you can deal with some enemies by making wild throwing motions, others require you to lock onto their head. Foes that get too close can be repelled by spending one of your few permitted ’super kicks’, done by making a kicking motion. All of this adds up to a basic arcade lightgun experience where you fend off waves of enemies quickly enough that they don’t hurt you.

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Our Rating for Diabolical Pitch Review (XBLA, Kinect)
6.5 Replay
Some score attack mechanics and unlocking new abilities through finding in-game baseball cards gives some extra life to what is otherwise a pretty short and simple game.
6.0 Graphics
While it successfully represents classic baseball and American carnival themes, players are required to stand a fair distance from the screen and an over-use of dull, faded colors works against the intended art style.
7.0 Sound
Sound effects and music are also meant to evoke the ’classic America via sports’ feel with some creepy horror mixed in, and this mostly succeeds.
7.5 Gameplay
Only the briefest of tutorials is necessary to get you started flinging fastballs at enemy hordes, and the controls are decent.
7.0 Multiplayer/Online Content
Local co-op with a friend can be fun, especially with some of the teamwork mechanics built in. The room space necessary to safely do this may be prohibitive, however.
7.5 Overall
A novel take on lightgun play, throwing baseballs at enemies is fun for a little while. By the time repetition sets in, Diabolical Pitch should have earned its relatively low price.

Rating: 0.0, votes: 0

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